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Naomi, Zach Hidalgo translate 1-on-1 tradition into strong starts on basketball court

By Tommy Wood, Greeley Tribune, 12/06/16, 2:00PM MST


Rockies Sophomore Naomi Hidalgo has strong start this basketball season.

Naomi Hidalgo, a sophomore forward on Greeley Central’s girls basketball team, got a text from her big brother late Thursday night. Zach had scored 31 points for Frontier Academy in the Wolverines’ 66-50 victory again Monte Vista, tying the junior swingman’s career high.

The next night, Naomi did him four better. She dropped a career-high 35 on Glenwood Springs in Central’s 57-48 victory. And that was nothing compared to going against her brother.

Basketball is unique because all you need to get better as a kid is yourself and a ball. But Reggie Miller wouldn’t have retired as the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-point shooting if he hadn’t spent his childhood getting schooled by his big sister, Cheryl, who is maybe the greatest women’s basketball player of all time. He shot with an unorthodox release because it was the only way he could shoot over her arms.

When you have someone to play one-on-one every day, you hone your skills is a way you can’t alone. The Hidalgos have balled since Naomi, who’s a year and a half younger, was little. They’re each other’s biggest competitors one-on-one and biggest fans the rest of the time.

“He’s been a role model,” Naomi said. “He pushes me. We’re really close and we help each other.”

Said Zach: “We love playing against each other. We’ll go in the gym and shoot, and just try to get each other better.”

It’s no coincidence after years and years of going against each other, they’re coming into their own. This summer, non-stop club play and skill work helped them take their games to the next level.

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